Intel announced it's developing a new Xeon series processor that will offer an integrated FPGA that can be customized to specific workloads. The new processor uses the standard E5 LGA2011 socket and promises an alternative to GPGPU accelerators from NVIDIA and others. According to Intel, the FPGA can deliver performance gains of up to 20x.
What’s the purpose of this new Xeon+FPGA product? In the words of Intel: “The FPGA provides our customers a programmable, high performance coherent acceleration capability to turbo-charge their critical algorithms.” Intel estimates that the Xeon+FPGA will see massive performance boosts in the 20x range (for code executed on the FPGA instead of a conventional x86 CPU — but obviously there will be big overall speedups as bottlenecks are removed. The other advantage is that workloads change — so if your critical algorithms change, or your whole company pivots, the FPGA can be repurposed without having to buy lots of new hardware.